Tag Archives: Choice

What God Gave Up for Lent – Day 8

8. What He Gave  

hands wounded

I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord GOD helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.  (Isaiah 50:6-7)

He gave His back and cheeks. Another translation is delivered. That’s what we did to Him; we delivered Him to the cross. But before we delivered Him there, He gave Himself for us.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father. (John 10:14-18)

Giving His back and giving His cheeks was completely and utterly His choice. Jesus allowed Himself to be humiliated and beaten. And He made that choice for you. The cross was the culmination of all things to secure your salvation. It was the final act of sacrifice for you.

There is a short phrase in 1 Corinthians 13 that may explain the how and why Christ was willing to submit to and endure such torture (both physical and emotional): Love… bears all things. The Greek describes this word in two ways: to bear up under, which speaks to Christ’s choice to bear your sins; and to cover, which speaks to His protection of you. He was willing to be struck, plucked, spat upon, and humiliated because love… bears all things.

The word strike can be significantly more violent in its usage: to kill, destroy and slaughter, are a few of the more “intense” translations. Perhaps strike was more injurious in earlier languages, but now it means little more than a slap in the face. We must never lose sight of the torture and brutality which Christ endured, and then finally died.

He did not hide His face from those who plucked His beard, who spat upon Him, and those who sought to disgrace, dishonor and cast reproach upon Him.

There’s sort of a divine stubbornness at work here. Because the LORD helped Him, Christ was able to push through the insults, the spitting, the plucking of His beard and the beatings.  Indeed, He even pushed through the grave, for death was unable to keep Him. Hallelujah! Thus He set His face like flint and was not ashamed. And because he was not ashamed to endure the cross, the sins of the world, and death, He was not ashamed to embrace you: For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” ( Hebrews 2:10-12)

Singing with the King (89) – Context 1.2

Cease Striving and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

soldiers prayingSo, the earth melted, and God brought desolation and destruction upon the earth. To what end? And why so extreme? Well, the answer to that is found in the second half of the above verse. The end of the verse reads: Know that I am God. Whether the earth is melting and being made desolate, or whether your life is melting and you’re feeling desolate, now is the time for you to cease striving and know that He is God.

Now for those of us have experienced such life shattering events in our lives, you know they can either ruin us, or bring us into the presence of God. Now as far as this Psalm is concerned, God is indeed the instigator, the prime mover, the originator and source of this bespoken cataclysm. Well His desire and motivation is to have you come to know Him.

This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:3-6)

But here is the danger. So you’re going through trauma, turmoil, loss or defeat, and rather than turning to God, you reject Him and accuse Him of being mean and uncaring. The problem with that call is, that you are nowhere near Him to really know Him.

Back to the context. Note these verses from this same Psalm:

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.  Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! (vss. 1-3)

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. (vss. 7, 11)

He is our refuge and strength, always ready to help, but we need to Be Still. He is here among grief4us, and is our fortress, but we need to Be Still. Note the latter verse is occurs twice in the Psalm (vs, 7,11). In fact it is the last thing written. He is with you. Can you be still?

On last thought. The remainder of verse 10 goes: “I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” At some point (i.e. – when you’re standing before Him in Heaven) you will no longer have a choice. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (vss. 9-11)

Be still today, and know that He is your God. And if you’re wondering how to do that, follow this link:

http://www.theintentionallife.com/first-one-thing-booklet/

 

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